LibriVox recording of A Description of New England, by Captain John Smith. Read by Algy Pug.
Captain John Smith (c. January 1580 – June 21, 1631) Admiral of New England was an English soldier, explorer, and author. He was knighted for his services to Sigismund Bathory, Prince of Transylvania. He is remembered for his role in establishing the first permanent English settlement in North America at Jamestown, Virginia, and his brief association with the Virginia Indian girl Pocahontas during an altercation with the Powhatan Confederacy and her father, Chief Powhatan. He was a leader of the Virginia Colony (based at Jamestown) between September 1608 and August 1609, and led an exploration along the rivers of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay.
His books and maps may have been as important as his deeds, as they encouraged more Englishmen and women to follow the trail he had blazed and to colonize the New World. He gave the name New England to that region, and encouraged people with the comment, "Here every man may be master and owner of his owne labour and land...If he have nothing but his hands, he may...by industrie quickly grow rich."
In 1614, Smith returned to the Americas in a voyage to the coasts of Maine and Massachusetts Bay. He named the region "New England". He made two attempts in 1614 and 1615 to return to the same coast. First a storm dismasted his ship. In the second attempt, he was captured by French pirates off the Azores. Smith escaped after weeks of captivity and made his way back to England, where he published an account of his two voyages as A Description of New England. He never left England again. He died in the year 1631 in London at the age of 51. (Introduction by Wikipedia)